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Old December 28th, 2017, 05:55 PM   #1
Maintenance Man
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Changing rusty old wire box on machine

I just got a work order to change a rusted out box with a bunch of wires going through it. The box has conduits coming from it that goes in 5 directions to different parts of machine. There is main terminal box that the wires terminate in. I am thinking the best way is to unhook all the wires that feed through the box that I have to change. My question is what is the best way to separate these wires so I can get them back to the right locations. There are terminal numbers on the wires. I am sure I just need to pull them all back through the openings in which they enter the rusted box. Does anyone have any advice on a good way to do this. Thank you for your help.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 06:55 PM   #2
jrwb4gbm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintenance Man View Post
I just got a work order to change a rusted out box with a bunch of wires going through it. The box has conduits coming from it that goes in 5 directions to different parts of machine. There is main terminal box that the wires terminate in. I am thinking the best way is to unhook all the wires that feed through the box that I have to change. My question is what is the best way to separate these wires so I can get them back to the right locations. There are terminal numbers on the wires. I am sure I just need to pull them all back through the openings in which they enter the rusted box. Does anyone have any advice on a good way to do this. Thank you for your help.
Just a few suggestions.

Take pictures of all the old work before beginning and also make a small, simple layout drawing.
At the rusty box end, tape each cluster of wires in each pipe into individual bundles.
Number each conduit pipe on both ends and each cluster/bundle to match the pipe number.
Make sure each individual wire and terminal is numbered uniquely.
If you have enough length on each wire, cut each wire very near the terminal so that a matching stub remains for additional info.
Pull each bundle/cluster out of its conduit individually, untangle them , then, tape the terminal end and number it to match the other end.

Maybe some of the hints will help, good luck!
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Old December 28th, 2017, 10:56 PM   #3
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Thank you.

Thank you for the good advice. I appreciate it very much. Have a wonderful New Year.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 12:41 AM   #4
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In situations like this where the wires are already labled and your dealing with a rusty mess what has been a life saver is clear heat shrink to put over the individual wire numbers. I've had it happen to many times where the box or area was so dirty that even though all the wires were numbered after everything was taken apart they were useless. We use a lot of heat shrink anyway so we have it on hand and I tried that trick one time and it worked beautifully. Any Grease dirt or Grime will wipe right off the wire labels. We will also use this for new installations where it's already subject to become a dirty mess. Also another trick is after bundling each conduits wires true then take electrical tape and use the reverse side first running up and over the wire labels so the sticky side is out and then going back over that. That way when you pull the tape off it won't leave the sticky black resin on The Wire labels. I hope this helps I know it's help me good luck with the bucket of rust.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:32 AM   #5
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Glad I looked at this thread.

Neat tricks with the heat shrink and the tape. Thanks.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:35 AM   #6
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One caution: do NOT depend solely on pictures. Make a written diagram and double check it before you unhook anything.

That's one that others I've worked with learned the hard way...
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Old December 29th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #7
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And if you use a phone to take pictures, be sure to set the resolution as high as it will go first. These modern camera phones are pretty amazing if they're set up right.
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